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On the 40th anniversary of his death, friends and family of the legendary singer/songwriter Jim Croce celebrate his life with a live concert, “Time in a Bottle, A Tribute to Jim Croce.”
DREXEL HILL, Pa. (August 12, 2013) – Friends and family of the legendary singer-songwriter Jim Croce present a live tribute concert, “Time in a Bottle, A Tribute to Jim Croce,” on the 40th anniversary of his untimely death. The performance takes place on September 21, 2013 at the Upper Darby Performing Arts Center. Folk music authority Gene Shay will emcee the event. Proceeds will go to the Upper Darby Arts and Education Foundation for a scholarship fund in Croce’s memory. Tickets are $17 – $20 and are on sale at the box office, 610-622-1189, or online at https://www.udpac.org/.
One of America’s most talented singer/songwriters, Jim Croce’s music continues to play on long after his death. Jim was just 30 years old when he and his lead guitarist, Maury Muehleisen, were killed as their chartered plane crashed during take off after a concert in Louisiana. A prolific songwriter, Croce’s music topped the charts with such hits as “Operator,” “Bad, Bad Leroy Brown,” “Time in a Bottle,” “Don’t Mess Around with Jim,” “I Got a Name,” and many more. “Time in a Bottle, A Tribute to Jim Croce” will feature several of Croce’s hits, as well as songs by Maury Muehleisen, and Croce’s friend, songwriter Sal Joseph (Joseph Salviuolo).
Ron Gletherow, who portrayed Jim Croce on British television will headline the band “Maggie’s Guitar” and brings the preeminent tribute show to Upper Darby Performing Arts Center with seating for 1,2000 at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 21.
Gletherow was a friend of Sal Joseph who met Croce while the two were students at Villanova University. Joseph is acknowledged as the man who helped launch Croce’s career by introducing him to Maury Muehleisen, who was integral in creating what became the “Croce sound.” Gletherow is a London-born singer-songwriter who portrayed Croce on the British television program “Stars in Their Eyes.” The primetime program had an audience of more than 11 million viewers.
Mike DiBenedetto will join the performance on stage. He played with Croce on his first album, “Facets,” as well as on the club and radio circuit during their days at Villanova University. He will highlight the show with many of his personal memories of Croce.
Gene Shay, producer and host of WXPN’s Folk Show will host the event. According to the WXPN Web site, Shay is the founder and original emcee of the Philadelphia Folk Festival. Gene has been deemed “The dean of American folk DJs” by The Philadelphia Daily News and “the grandfather of Philadelphia Folk Music” by The Philadelphia Inquirer.
Jim Croce’s son A.J, who lives in California, supports event. “I am very touched that you are celebrating my fathers music. I know that my father would also be very touched that you still listen to his music and support it, and that it means so much. All the best with your tribute.”
The concert takes place close to the 40th anniversary of Croce’s death. On Sept. 20, 1973 – the same day that his ABC single “I Got a Name” was released – Croce, Muehleisen, and four others were killed in a plane crash in Natchitoches, Louisiana.
Croce is one of Upper Darby High School’s most famous graduates. He was born in South Philadelphia and attended Upper Darby High School and Villanova University. During his time as a student, Croce became a member of the “Villanova Singers” and the “Villanova Spires.”
The evening of live music will open with the “Villanova Spires.” The “Spires” are a selective 14-man a cappella group within The Villanova Singers. They sing a variety of music and have toured across the US, as well as international destinations including Ireland, Rome, Austria, Germany, and Puerto Rico. The Spires can often be found entertaining audiences on Villanova’s campus and the Philadelphia area.
The group was founded in 1961 by Tom Picardo (a.k.a Tommy West) with help from his friend Tim Hauser of The Manhattan Transfer. In the following year, Croce, who would later have West as his producer, joined in as a member of the new folk music group. The music has evolved throughout the years, and now the men of the Spires sing a cappella.
Joining the cast will be Ian, Duncan and Aidan Maxwell of the “Silver Hammer Band.”
The concert is also the highlight of “The Gathering,” a weekend reunion of of Croce fans and friends. The Gathering also includes “Memories” bus tour, narrated by Jim Croce’s cousin, Steve Angelucci, of locations in the Philadelphia area that were important to Jim.
Tickets to the Jim Croce Story are $20 and are on sale at the Upper Darby Performing Arts Center, 610-622-1189, or online at https://www.udpac.org/.
Headquarters for the Gathering weekend is the Comfort Inn, 53 Industrial Highway, Essington, Pa., which is offering a discount rate. For updates on the Gathering, visit http://www.jimcrocefans.com/gathering.htm. For hotel reservations, contact the Comfort Inn at 610-521-9800, or visit http://www.comfortinn.com/hotel-essington-pennsylvania-PA094?listpos=1.